A teleprompter has your entire speech or lyrics right in front of you like a digital security net. Everyone, from politicians to TV hosts use them. What about you?
Some presenters worry that speaking from a teleprompter is hard. However, modern teleprompter options not allow you to feel secure that your text or lyrics are in front of you, they do it so unobtrusively that you can quickly develop a rapport with their audiences too!
Here are 4excellent tips to make the best use of a teleprompter.
You control the pace
Teleprompters can be adjusted to display between as many lines of text as you want, at a time. Most presenters prefer to have the text they’re currently speaking somewhere in the middle of the display. If it appears close to the top, they may rush to say it or if it’s at the bottom, they may worry that the next line would take too long to appear. You can feel more confident by practicing several times with the teleprompter before the actual shoot or event.
Program the teleprompter to follow your pace, not the other way around. Where you slow down or speed up, the teleprompter’s scroll should follow suit. When you practice in advance, the teleprompter operator becomes familiar with the flow and the two of you remain in sync. Also check whether you are comfortable with the font size and panel location. If not, have it adjusted.
Avoid moving your head too much
Since many teleprompters use a left and right panel, speakers may appear as if they are watching a ping pong match. Speakers should adjust the teleprompter and scrolling in way that they can stay with each panel for longer and use the start of a new sentence or idea to change the direction in which they are looking.
If you plan to use extemporaneous speech (things that are not part of your speech; impromptu), mark it in your teleprompter script. (“PROMPTER STOP – TELL CLIENT STORY”) You can practice these moments too, with the operator in advance. The cue tells the operator to stop scrolling, and the next scripted line begins when you finish the extemporaneous speech.
Mark the script
Using the teleprompter need not be robotic. When you practice, you can mark your script in advance with the emphasis and other cues that you would use as you speak or sing. One more thing you may want to insert is section or page endings. Since all the words run as continuous text on a teleprompter, add a mark to indicate a page break.
You need not read verbatim from the teleprompter but you can also use a teleprompter for brief bulleted points to serve as memory triggers, in a more extemporaneous manner.
Or, you can use a blended approach with bulleted points and some scripted sections.
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